Romans 14:4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
This is probably the central truth in the series. He is not your servant. He doesnâ€™t belong to you. You have no authority or power over him. I think that some where along the way we began to think that the church in Rome could tell other churches what to do.
None of us really believe that. We know that each church is independent of any outside authority. Then pastors began to think that they had the right to make all the decisions for their church members.
Like the Pharisees we began building “a fence around the law” to make sure no one sinned. Soon we became a group of critical judges walking around making sure everyone did things just like I did.
They don’t need to read the Bible and ask God what to do. They do not need to seek the Lord they just need to ask me.
No one means for it to come out like that. In practice it ends up being just a spirit that exists in our churches because they do what the pastor says while he is looking but not otherwise.
Wouldnâ€™t it be better if God’s people would seek out the Lord and His will and then they would do it all the time because they would be convinced.
Now I know what the more spiritual are thinking. I know because I have already been there. I am sure that you are right but people do better when God teaches them. I want them to live holy lives too.
I think that the way I do things is the best or I wouldnâ€™t be doing it that way. But that isn’t the determining factor is it? If you tell them what to do and live critically they will not mature to do what He wants.
He began the good work in them. Philippians 1:6. He has predestined them to be conformed to the image of His Son Romans 8:29.
Can we trust God to get people to where they should be? We should still preach them what the Bible says. We should still show them but leave it to God to change them. We are not the Holy Spirit and they are not our servants.
Paul left room here for liberty to decide. He gives guidelines but accepts both. What do you think?